It’s been three years since St Helens suffered their fifth straight Super League grand final defeat at the hands of Leeds Rhinos, 32-16, however the 2014 league leaders are focused on ending their eight year wait for a Super League trophy.
Leeds beat them in four of those five straight defeats and coincidentally it was Wigan Warriors who inflicted the other painful defeat on Saints with a 22-10 victory in front of nearly 72,000 people back in 2010.
They have waited for this rematch for four years and it will take a huge effort for the league leaders to topple the reigning champions and steal the trophy from Shaun Wane and his side’s grip come Saturday at Old Trafford.
As tough as it will be for St Helens to topple the champions they have more than enough quality in their side to end the pain their fans have suffered over the last eight years.
It would be a fitting send off for coach Nathan Brown if he is to lead Saints to their fifth Super League Grand Final triumph as he returns home to Australia for personal reasons.
Inspired by Brown’s departure they will call on the big names they have fit with winger Tommy Makinson vital to their chances of victory against the Warriors. Their backs can be lethal with Percival, Jones and Swift all knowing their way to the try-line so Lance Hohaia will be looking to let them loose as much as possible. As one of their only fit halfbacks left, Lance has a huge weight of expectation on his shoulders with key players Johnny Lomax and Luke Walsh side-lined due to injury.
Saints have the size to win this game up-front with Mose Masoe leading a pack of forwards hungry for success. Mose, along with Alex Walmsley and Kyle Amor, will be key to winning the battle in the middle and if they out muscle the Wigan forwards it will lay a platform for their explosive backs and second rowers to run riot.
At the centre of all of this there is one man who can control and dictate a whole game, who can influence the game more than anyone else on the pitch, that man is James Roby. If the Steve Prescott Man of Steel shortlisted hooker is at the top of his game, which he has been of late, then he will lead his side to a Grand Final victory which will finally end their recent Old Trafford hoodoo.
Saints chances of winning the Grand Final on Saturday all depend on whether their big names put in a performance worthy of being champions however one thing is for certain, that come Saturday St Helens and Wigan Warriors will play out an incredible Super League Grand Final which is not to be missed.